Title DE-SME – Intelligent Furniture- Training for Design, Environment and New Materials in SMEs
Project Number 504580-LLP-1-2009-IT-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
Marketing Text "Intelligent Furniture" develops and improves professional education methods and contents for designers, entrepreneurs and the staff of SME’s in the interior design and furniture sector. During the project training concepts and materials for specific training modules will be developed and tested in different local contexts. This will create new strategies, processes and contents for Life-Long-Learning. Our European partnership and network will create new best practices and innovative methods for training.
In order to face the crisis of the furniture market, SME’s in the furniture sector need to focalize their products on specific markets and innovations: service design, new technologies, marketing image, innovative materials, Design for All (Universal Design) and customer oriented design. Specific product concepts are increasingly important and human resources in SME’s need to be trained to face new opportunities.
The work will be based on an analysis of the starting point (already existing experiences) able to guarantee a high quality level.
Three specific Trainingpackages will be developed by the partnership, treating some important items for Design in the furniture sector, especially in view of their use inside Small and Medium Enterprises:
- Design for All
- Service Design
- Image, Branding and Heritage of Furniture
These trainingpackages will be tested in the four partner-countries and will then be defined on the base of the made experiences. Contents and methods of the VET-actions, suitable for Designers, entrepreneurs and management personal of the SME's of the furniture sector, can then be disseminated and applied to other local contexts or to other production sectors.
The main goals of the project are:
1. To increase the competitiveness in the furniture sector the creation of efficient strategies, processes and contents for Life-Loing-Learning
2. To create innovative tolls and forums for local and transnational networking.
Subsequently, the expected results are new education models for an increased competitiveness in Interior Design and the Furniture Sector.
- New methods to respond to the increasing needs of the adult education and LLL in the industry
- New abilities for creating sustainable service systems for SME’s to increase competitiveness
- Creative processes for improving the skills of designers;
- New customer oriented ideas, concepts and marketing strategies through training and networking
- Developing methods and effective strategies for future oriented design and production process
- New education methods, models and contents for interior design and furniture enterprises
- More innovative services
- Redesigning of furniture archetypes
The following specific objectives have been addressed:
1) Contribute to the development of quality lifelong learning and to promote high performance, innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field
The cooperation between highly qualified partners in the VET field (Academies) in different countries with associations of enterprises, Research and Testing Institutions and Local Authorities, putting together the changing needs of the market and the subsequent changing needs of competencies (= lifelong learning) will guarantee a permanent high quality innovation of training in this specific sector on European Level, in a user-oriented optic
2) To help promote creativity, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit
The key-competency of the project is "Design", connected to a creative way of being competitive. The project will improve the entrepreneurs capacities of applying Design either by themselves or using Service Providers for the whole production process - with the tools of life long learning. In this way the necessary competencies can be transferred to Designers, Entrepreneurs and the internal human resources inside the companies, giving a new approach to the entire staff of SME's.
3) To support improvements in quality and innovation in vocational education and training systems, institutions and practices
Cooperation between Associations of Entrepreneurs, Trainingproviders (Academies) and Local Authorities create actions able to influence the whole education and training system with innovative items (Design - Creativity), Research/Testing (New Materials - Ecology - Environment), a wide spectrum of possible trainees (entrepreneurs, professionals, collaborators) and, being market oriented, the need of high quality training directly connected to the changes of the market.
4) To improve the quality and to increase the volume of cooperation between institutions or organisations providing learning opportunities
The training providers (Academies) will cooperate directly with Associations of Entrepreneurs (production and commercialisation sectors) for the creation of training concepts and contents, the Public Authority will elaborate the cooperation process and control the testing. Providers are high quality level (High School level), users are on the market, so the approach is not theoretical and responding to real needs of enterprises and human resources.
5) To facilitate the development of innovative practices in the field of vocational education and training other than at tertiary level, and their transfer, including from one participating country to others
The project is working on furniture production (secondary sector) under a completely innovative point of view: applying the key competencies of Design to the whole prodcution process, including ecological items, the use of innovative materials and testing of Customer Oriented new products. Partners from different countries will work together and the deliverables will be tested and applied in all participating countries
Other Service Activities
program or curricula
The overall project will produce three tested Trainingpackages using innovative contents and innovative methods for Life Long Learning actions fostered on the professional training addressed to SME's. The developed products are responding to concrete needs, revealed through a specific inquiry carried on during the elaboration of the Quality Plan. Training for Entrepreneurs, Management Personal and Professionals providing services towards enterprises (especially Designers) will thus be carried out and can be transferred to other geographical areas and production sectors.
The produced innovation used to elaborate the products follows two main lines:
1- innovation of contents in function of the actual needs of the furniture sector and its employed or self-employed human resources
2- innovation of the process between public bodies, private or public training providers and enterprises (and their associations) in order to programme, control in itinere and re-adapt specific training actions in relation to the needs of the labour market and the needs of skills and competencies inside enterprises.
Furthermore the entrepreneurs themselves will be able to contribute through Focus Groups and interacting with public bodies responsible for VET-policies and training actions as well as with Training Agencies in order to guarantee training interventions that are corresponding in organisation, method and contents to the real needs of the enterprises and the human resources, in order to augment competitiveness and occupability.
At the deadline of the midterm report, the major outcomes are already defined and the Trainingpackages, their concept, the usable methods and specific training materials, including materials able to teach the teachers, are elaborated and ready to be tested through a round of courses to be held in the four partner countries.
Also the necessary tools for management, monitoring and quality control are ready to be used, in order to present, at the end of the project work, results that have been not only developed by experts near to the need of enterprises, but also tested and evaluated through the use of specific monitoring tools.
The outcomes of the project will go further the mere production of concrete products usable for professional training, because on the base of the done experiences a report about the used procedures and methods will be edited, useful for the collaboration between enterprises, training agencies and public bodies responsible for VET Actions.